News




On Charlie Hebdo

I’ve been in high demand since the massacre. As a cartoonist, commentator, and pre-existing fan of Charlie Hebdo itself everyone wants to know my take.

Here is an editorial I wrote for the Sun News website, in which I compare and contrast the culture of European satire with that of North America.

Such trends help explain why North American satirists will probably never be particularly strong defenders of the rights of folks like the Charlie Hebdo gang. The flavor of free expression the dead Frenchmen fought for – the right of irreverent vulgarity, is falling rapidly out of favor on this side of the Atlantic, where painstaking efforts to avoid the offensive – not just as perceived by Muslims, but also blacks, Asians, latinos, aboriginals, feminists, gays, the transgendered, and a seemingly endless rainbow of other “marginalized groups” bearing a lengthy laundry list of words, images, and allusions that must never be used in relation to themselves - becomes a defining theme of North American humor.

That same article contains a link to this video of me appearing on the Jerry Agar show, talking a bit about the history of Charlie Hebdo, why I support them, and my own experiences as an editorial cartoonist and dealing with censorship.

CNN then commissioned me to draw a cartoon and write a short essay about the whole episode, which you can see and read here. It’s a sort of rebuke to self-righteous cartoonists who have been preening something fierce in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo murders. Frankly, I don’t think any North American cartoonist is in much of a position to “show solidarity” with the dead, considering how aggressively censorious American cartooning, and indeed American humor in general has become in recent years.

I’ve got more stuff on the way.